Captain Marvel: The Superhero We Need Right Now

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) in Marvel Studios' CAPTAIN MARVEL.

With Brie Larson kicking ass in the titular role, Captain Marvel gives us a new superhero as the Marvel Cinematic Universe pushes forward.

The introduction of Carol Danvers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes during a very trying time.  We only have an idea of who survived The Snap but so many more are out there.  The ending of Avengers: Infinity War shows that both Danvers and Nick Fury previously met.  This film does a superb job in serving as an origin story for both of them.

What we know about Danvers early on in the film is that she’s residing on Hala, the capital of the Kree Civilization.  She’s a member of Starforce, a team that’s been put together by the A.I. Supreme Intelligence (Annette Bening).  Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) leads this team that also includes Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), Att-Lass (Algenis Pérez Soto), and Bron-Char (Rune Temte).  The Starforce are but just one part of the equation in the ongoing Kree-Skull War.

The ongoing war between the Kree and the Skrulls, led by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), are how Danvers finds herself falling through a Blockbuster Video ceiling.  While Blockbuster may seem foreign for younger generations, it’s very fitting to see one in the film.  Honestly, it’s one of the best things that help to give this film a 1990s feel.  No sooner than we know it, it’s welcome back to both Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).  Together, the duo lend some familiar faces to the film.  Neither are as battle-hardened as we’ve seen them in recent years.  Fury alone is a good decade away from putting together The Avengers Initiative.  Honestly, it’s a game-changer for the MCU.  I have to tip my cap to the visual effects team for de-aging them by two decades.  It’s a very impressive job in that regard.

Fury and Danvers team up to figure out what the Skrulls what with technology on Earth.  Not surprisingly, it serves as a way of tying this film into other MCU films.  More importantly for Danvers, it’s a way of relearning who she is.  Once business gets taken care of, the duo head off to Louisiana where Davers gets a long overdue reunion with Air Force colleague Marie Rambeau (Lashana Lynch).

Taking a look at the Kree capital for the first time on screen is similar to the first time we saw Coruscant in Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace.  The design of this place is very intricate.  It’s a shock that this is the first time we’re seeing the Kree homeworld because of how much history they have in the Marvel universe.

There’s a solid amount of comedy that we’re used to seeing in Marvel films by now.  Yes, Goose the Flerken (Chewie in the comics) steals the show.  This sweet-looking cat may be innocent by all appearances but there’s more here than meets the eye.  Between a heavy 1990s soundtrack and Pinar Toprak’s score, the film makes for a nice homage to the decade.  They go all out when it comes to the 1990s nostalgia!  The set pieces and action scenes alone give it that kick-ass feel.  Larson just dominates in those scenes!

Look no further than Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel when it comes to the film’s inspiration.  This is a run that factors in both Danvers’ roots on Earth in addition to her being a superhero among the cosmos.  On top of this, what we have is a film that sends off a feminist message, too.

This is a film that has to set up the rest of the MCU.  I think this goes without saying.  We get to the roots of Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S and learn the people involved.  Without this film, we certainly would not have the post-credits scene in Iron Man.

What you need to know is that there are two scenes during the credits.  One is a mid-credits scene while the other is a post-credits scene.  Without spoiling them, I’ll just say that both of them are very important.  Moreover, Stan Lee’s cameo is a bittersweet moment.  On top of this, Marvel Studios has redone their opening logo as a way of paying tribute to the late Marvel mastermind.  Excelsior to you, Stan!

On top of this, Captain Marvel is the female-driven Marvel film that we’ve been waiting for.  For a long time, it was thought that Black Widow would probably be the first female hero with a solo outing.  This didn’t happen but Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel very much becomes the hero we need right now.  With contracts expiring for many of the current Avengers, she very well may be the face of the MCU for the foreseeable future.  I certainly welcome this because Larson’s performance on screen is so much fun to watch.

DIRECTORS:  Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
SCREENWRITERS:  Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet
CAST:  Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, with Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law

Marvel Studios opens Captain Marvel in theaters on March 8, 2019. Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.